Sentinel/Herald Fish Report

by Allen Bushnell

The weather got weird this week, featuring southerly winds, a muggy atmosphere, choppy seas and even a little rain at times. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration referred to conditions as “unsettled,” and predicts the upper level low pressure system will move inland as the week progresses. Expect windy afternoons through the weekend and on Columbus Day.

Anglers continue to report very good catches up and down the Monterey Bay, however. Chris’ Fishing Trips posted full limits of rockfish and lingcod for all their trips aboard the Check Mate this week, as usual. The Kahuna is still steaming down towards Big Sur. Last Saturday’s trip to Point Lopez was a great success according to Carol Jones. “Yet another great day way down the coast at Lopez. We should be seeing some good weather more consistently so we will be adding more trips down south,” Jones reported. The variety of big rockfish included 65 copper rockfish, 38 lingcod (up to 22 pounds), and 90 vermilion rockfish (up to 8 pounds) for the 19 anglers aboard.

On the north side of the bay, Capitola Boat and Bait continues to report good halibut fishing for bounce-ballers and anglers using live bait near the Mile Reef. There is an immense amount of bait in the area, including huge schools of anchovies and larger jack smelt. A few white sea bass were caught by lucky anglers near the Cement Ship. Charter boat operations out of Santa Cruz Harbor remain productive. Ken Stagnaro from Stagnaro’s Sportfishing reported, “Friday half day, nine people with limits, so 90 rock fish. Saturday 9/29 – Nine-hour North Coast trip, 30 people caught 36 lings and 180 rockfish. Sunday 9/30- Seven-hour trip, 18 people with limits, so 180 rock fish.”

The smaller six-pack charter Miss Beth from Go Fish Santa Cruz headed to the wild north coast on Friday. Skipper John Thomas reported, “We fished Franklin Point and had a great day. The clients caught a variety of rockfish. We fished in 40-80 feet of water using several types of baits. Live bait and shrimp flies were productive for the ‘schoolie’ rockfish. Whole squid on a double treble hook rig produced big vermillion and lingcod. We landed seven nice lings up to 15 pounds.”

If you are interested in a little competition, we just learned that the “Out To Sea” tackle shop on Cannery Row is sponsoring a spearfishing/rod and reel contest this weekend. “Bring The Ling” is a two day event scheduled for October 6 and 7. This is a jackpot-style fishing derby for lingcod only. Contact the shop for details.

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